Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin and part of what is known as the B-complex group. Its major roles in the body are to help with energy production and the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from the foods we eat. It also aids in forming hormones.

How much do I need?

  • 5 milligrams per day is needed for both males and females over 14 years of age
  • 6 milligrams per day for pregnant women 
  • 7 milligrams per day for breastfeeding women 

For recommendations for infants and children, check out the chart in CSU Extension’s Fact Sheet: Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C

Food sources

Pantothenic acid is in a variety of foods including liver, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli. Fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources. Whole grains can be a good source of pantothenic acid, but processing may result in a 35-75% loss.

What happens if I don’t get enough?

Pantothenic acid is found in a lot of foods, which makes deficiency of this nutrient very uncommon—several other necessary nutrients would likely also be deficient.

Can I get too much?

It is difficult to get too much pantothenic acid from the foods we eat. Rarely, diarrhea and water retention can occur with excessive amounts.

Learn more about pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) in CSU Extension’s fact sheet Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C.

Did You Know?

  • Fresh meats, vegetables, and whole unprocessed grains have more vitamin B5 than refined, canned, and frozen food.
  • Vitamin B5 can be found in multivitamins and B-complex vitamins or sold separately under the names pantothenic acid and calcium pantothenate.